Louis-Gabriel Suchet

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Louis Gabriel Suchet
Gault - Le marechal Suchet, duc d'Albufera (1770-1826).jpg
Born2 March 1770 (1770-03-02)
Lyon, France
Died3 January 1826 (1826-01-04) (aged 55)
near Marseilles, France
AllegianceFlag of France.svg  France
Service/branch French Army
Years of service1792–1815
Rank Marshal of the Empire
Battles/wars
Awards Marshal of France
Other workAuthor

Louis-Gabriel Suchet (2 March 1770 – 3 January 1826), Duke of Albufera (French : Duc d'Albuféra), was a French Marshal of the Empire and one of the most successful commanders of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Marshal of the Empire military rank

Marshal of the Empire was a civil dignity during the First French Empire. It was created by Sénatus-consulte on 18 May 1804 and to a large extent resurrected the formerly abolished title of Marshal of France. According to the Sénatus-consulte, a Marshal was a grand officer of the Empire, entitled to a high-standing position at the Court and to the presidency of an electoral college.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

Contents

Life

Guerin's portrait of Marshal Suchet Louis-Gabriel Suchet.jpg
Guérin's portrait of Marshal Suchet
Suchet's grave in Paris's Pere Lachaise Cemetery Louis Gabriel Suchet grave, Pere Lachaise, Paris.JPG
Suchet's grave in Paris’s Père Lachaise Cemetery

Suchet was born to a silk manufacturer in Lyon. He originally intended to follow his father's business but, serving as a volunteer in the cavalry of the National Guard at Lyon, he displayed abilities which secured rapid military promotions. [1]

Lyon Prefecture and commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Lyon is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located in the country's east-central part at the confluence of the rivers Rhône and Saône, about 470 km (292 mi) south from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) north from Marseille and 56 km (35 mi) northeast from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.

In 1793, he was serving as a battalion chief (chef de bataillon) when he captured the British general Charles O'Hara at Toulon. During the 1796 Italian campaign, he was severely wounded at Cerea on 11 October. In October 1797, he was promoted to command of a half-brigade (demi-brigade). [1]

Charles OHara British Army general

General Charles O'Hara was a British military officer who served in the Seven Years' War, American War of Independence, and French Revolutionary War, and later served as Governor of Gibraltar. During his career O'Hara personally surrendered to both George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Siege of Toulon siege

The Siege of Toulon was a military operation by Republican forces against a Royalist rebellion in the southern French city of Toulon.

Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars

The Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802) were a series of conflicts fought principally in Northern Italy between the French Revolutionary Army and a Coalition of Austria, Russia, Piedmont-Sardinia, and a number of other Italian states.

In May 1797, Suchet was one of three lieutenant colonels of the 18th Infantry Demi-brigade, with little hope of advancement. He was sent to Venice to procure uniforms for the troops. Since the Venetians believed that they might in future be ruled by the French, Suchet and an aide were treated like royalty. For two months, they enjoyed living in a palace, having a personal gondola and holding reserved seats at the opera. On 28 October 1797, 150 officers of André Masséna's division hosted a large dinner. The colonel of the 32nd Line, Dominique Martin Dupuy brought Suchet to Napoleon Bonaparte's table and said, "Well general, when will you make our friend Suchet a colonel?" Bonaparte tried to brush him off with the reply, "Soon: we will see about it." Thereupon Dupuy took off one of his epaulettes and placed it on Suchet's shoulder, saying, "By my almightiness, I make thee colonel." This clownish action was successful; Bonaparte immediately directed Louis-Alexandre Berthier to write out Suchet's nomination for advancement. [2]

Venice Comune in Veneto, Italy

Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. The islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area (PATREVE), which is considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million.

André Masséna French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

André Masséna, 1st Duc de Rivoli, 1st Prince d'Essling was a French military commander during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He was one of the original eighteen Marshals of the Empire created by Napoleon, with the nickname l'Enfant chéri de la Victoire.

Dominique Martin Dupuy French revolutionary general of brigade

Dominique Martin Dupuy was a French revolutionary brigadier general.

His services in the Tyrol under Joubert that year and in Switzerland under Brune over the next were recognized by his promotion to the rank of brigadier general (général de brigade). He took no part in the Egyptian campaign but was made Brune's chief of staff in August and restored the efficiency and discipline of the army in Italy. In July 1799, he was promoted to division general (général de division) and made Joubert's chief of staff in Italy. In 1800, he was named second-in-command to Masséna. His dexterous resistance to the superior forces of the Austrians with the left wing of Masséna's army, when the right and centre were shut up in Genoa, not only prevented the invasion of France from this direction but contributed to the success of Napoleon's crossing the Alps, which culminated in the battle of Marengo on 14 June. He took a prominent part in the rest of the Italian campaign up to the armistice of Treviso. [1]

Genoa Comune in Liguria, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Battle of Marengo battle

The Battle of Marengo was fought on 14 June 1800 between French forces under Napoleon Bonaparte and Austrian forces near the city of Alessandria, in Piedmont, Italy. Near the end of the day, the French overcame Gen. Michael von Melas's surprise attack, driving the Austrians out of Italy and consolidating Napoleon's political position in Paris as First Consul of France in the wake of his coup d’état the previous November.

In the campaigns of 1805 and 1806, he greatly enhanced his reputation at the Battles of Austerlitz, Saalfeld, Jena, Pułtusk, and Ostrolenka, in the last of which he commanded an infantry division. He obtained the title of count on 19 March 1808. Ordered to Spain, he took part in the Siege of Saragossa, after which he was named commander of the army of Aragon and governor of that region. Within two years, he brought the area into complete submission by wise and adroit administration no less than by his brilliant valor. Beaten by the Spanish at Alcañiz, he sprung back and soundly defeated the army of Blake y Joyes at María on 14 June 1809. On 22 April 1810, he defeated O'Donnell at Lleida. After the siege of Tarragona, he was named marshal of France on 8 July 1811. In 1812, he captured Valencia, [1] for which he was rewarded with the dukedom of Albufera nearby, on 24 January. [3] When the tide turned against France, Suchet defended his conquests one by one until compelled to withdraw from Spain, after which he took part in Soult's defensive campaign of 1814. [1]

Battle of Austerlitz A battle of the Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Austerlitz, also known as the Battle of the Three Emperors, was one of the most important and decisive engagements of the Napoleonic Wars. In what is widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon, the Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Emperor Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II. The battle occurred near the town of Austerlitz in the Austrian Empire. Austerlitz brought the War of the Third Coalition to a rapid end, with the Treaty of Pressburg signed by the Austrians later in the month. The battle is often cited as a tactical masterpiece, in the same league as other historic engagements like Cannae or Gaugamela.

Battle of Saalfeld battle

The Battle of Saalfeld took place on the 10 October 1806, at which a French force of 12,800 men commanded by Marshal Jean Lannes defeated a Prussian-Saxon force of 8,300 men under Prince Louis Ferdinand. The battle took place in Thuringia in what was the Ernestine duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. The battle was the second clash in the Prussian Campaign of the War of the Fourth Coalition.

Battle of Pułtusk

The Battle of Pułtusk took place on 26 December 1806 during the War of the Fourth Coalition near Pułtusk, Poland. Despite their strong numerical superiority and artillery, the Russians suffered the French attacks, before retiring the next day having suffered greater losses than the French, disorganizing their army for the rest of the year.

The restored Bourbon king Louis XVIII made him a peer of France on 4 June with a seat in the upper house, but this was forfeited (effective 24 July 1815) by his support of Napoleon's return during the Hundred Days. During Napoleon's brief restoration, Suchet was given command of an army on the Alpine frontier. [1]

He died in the Castle of Saint-Joseph [4] near Marseille on 3 January 1826. [1]

Legacy

His memoirs (Mémoires sur Ses Campagnes en Espayne) was published in two volumes from 1829 to '34. [1]

The chicken dish poularde à la d'Albuféra is named after him.

Family

He married Honorine Anthoine de Saint-Joseph (Marseille, 26 February 1790 – Paris, 13 April 1884), a niece of Julie Clary, the wife of Joseph Bonaparte, on 16 November 1808. They had three children:

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Chisholm 1911, p. 7.
  2. Phipps 2011, pp. 215–216.
  3. Suchet 1829, p. 439.
  4. Castle of Saint-Joseph on Napoleon & Empire website

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